Women who eat anywhere ever

This seems useful and healthy – this Facebook group called Women Who Eat on Tubes*, which features sneak photos of just that.

Some women had a picnic on the tube last month to mock the whole disgusting thing.

Sarah Hardcastle, in a T-shirt reading “women who eat wherever the fuck they want”, produced a bottle of juice neatly relabelled “bloody feminist cocktail”.

“It’s very bitter,” she explained.

The gathering in a London underground train carriage was a response to a controversial Facebook group entitled Women Who Eat on Tubes, featuring surreptitious mobile phone photographs of just that.

Hardcastle, an advertising copywriter, was already wearing the T-shirt when she heard Lucy Brisbane McKay confront film-maker Tony Burke on the Radio 4 Today programme on Friday, and realised gratefully that she and her friends were not the only ones who found his Facebook and Tumblr pages creepily misogynist.

Oh, pshaw. It’s important to monitor the behavior of women in public so that they will be sure to either do the right thing (as determined by randos with camera phones) or stay home.

It was, Burke said, an art project, mere reportage – “an observational study”.

Julia Bohanna disagreed. “I write about art and that’s rubbish,” she said. “You only have to look at captions commenting on the size of a burger a woman is eating. It’s voyeuristic bullying, turned on a group which may include many vulnerable people. The mere idea that these photographs could be called high art is borderline hilarious.”

I think “contemptible” is the word, more than “hilarious.”

Hardcastle said: “Some people have asked us: ‘Why are you standing up about this? Why aren’t you tackling a real cause?’ But you can’t do everything – and when you can do something, it’s better than doing nothing.”

In other words, some people were all “Dear Muslima” – so fuck them.

* “Tubes” in the sense of the London Underground. “On Tubes is slightly odd, now I think about it; “on the Tube” would seem more normal to me, but “on Tubes” just means on different trains on the Tube.



  1. quixote says

    If it’s just about the Art of it all, he could be sneaking photos of men on trains.

  2. Blanche Quizno says

    That would be a waste of good artistic effort because men don’t have tits.

  3. theoreticalgrrrl says

    Why are the photographers of “Women Who Eat on Tubes” standing up about women eating on tubes? Why aren’t they tackling a real cause?

  4. says

    I think “contemptible” is the word, more than “hilarious.”

    Nah. It’s totally contemptible, but the mere suggestion is borderline hilarious in the “thinking – how does it work” category.

  5. says

    At first I was confused because I thought “tubes” might be referring to inner tubes or something. Now I’m confused because why does anyone care about who eats on a subway? I mean, even if one were a misogynist, I wouldn’t get it unless you’re just offended by the sight of women eating at all.

  6. says

    I think that might be the explanation, Michael. A woman eating is a woman not simpering or pouting or showing just a glimpse of her dear little pearly teeth. Eww.

    Sorry about the tubes enigma! I forgot how local the word is.

  7. says

    Women Who Eat on Tubes

    Following on the heels of the successful
    “black people who eat on tubes”

    and the less succesful
    “bodybuilder skinheads who eat on tubes”

  8. Question mark says

    I think “completely preposterous” is the most accurate description.

  9. drken says

    The whole “Women eating on the tube” thing was pretty weird and creepy. I guess part of male privilege is never having to deal with that sort of stuff, for which I’m grateful (But I won’t apologize! /snark). But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that women shouldn’t eat on the subway (what we call the tube here in the States) because nobody is supposed to. It smells up the car and the litter attracts rats. There’s usually a sign letting you know, along with other banned activities such as playing the radio and smoking. Of course, I don’t know what the rules are in Britain, but on this side of the pond, there’s no eating in subway cars. It doesn’t stop people, but you’re not supposed to.

  10. Minnow says

    As usual I am torn. I think the ‘Women who eat’ photo blog thing is absurd and misogynistic, but, god, I wish people would stop eating on the Tube.

  11. jenBPhillips says

    People do sneak photos of men on (subway) trains, actually. The tumblr Men taking up too much space on trains posts them without comment. ‘Without comment’ being the key distinction here–no lascivious musings about the shape of the man in question’s junk, etc. Some people may do that in the comments I suppose, but there’s no such language attached to the picture itself.

    That said, the person who maintains the tumblr has collected a long series of comments from men who have encountered the site and converted them in to a ‘crowdsourced superpoem” entitled “Men defending their balls”.

  12. fork says

    I was thinking of that tumblr too, jenBPhillips. There’s one where a guy lays out his dinner on a TV tray.
    But the key difference between the tumblr and the facebook page is not, I think, in the comments. One is a thing that we overwhelmingly see men do, as a manifestation of their privilege. The other thing, however, is not something we see mostly women do. It’s a thing both men and women do, but something which I gather the facebook people think is only OK for men to do. If both men and women hogged space in roughly equal numbers, then I could see taking the tumblr to task for only criticizing men for doing it.

  13. leni says

    Lol jenBPhillips that “Men defending their balls” metapoem was hilarious. I can’t imagine the sheer agony of walking with your legs mere inches apart or sitting like a god damn civilized human in a chair at work all day.

    More importantly, what happened to the poor balls of all those 80’s hair metal band dudes? Crushed by the merciless, relentless burden of tight, sweaty spandex and leather, no doubt. Misandry! To be fair it didn’t really look like it hurt, though.

  14. leni says

    Ohhhh woops! I actually had two bad pics lined up and the one I settled on was not what I pasted.

    So beware the penis pic in my previous post lol

  15. jenBPhillips says

    So beware the penis pic in my previous post lol

    Gaaah! Too late!

    @fork–yes, exactly. And the thing is, many of the pics on that tumblr show a squished, folded, crowded woman sitting next to the man, trying to minimize her space to stay out of his.

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